North American Diesel Vehicle Sales to Triple by 2016, Research Firm Says
August 31, 2010
By Danny King
North American diesel-vehicle unit sales will triple over the next six years as German automakers such as Volkswagen and BMW boost the number of so-called "clean diesel" cars they import to the U.S. in an effort to meet more stringent federal fuel-economy standards, according to research firm Frost & Sullivan.
Automakers will sell about 545,000 diesel-powered light vehicles to North America in 2016, up from 167,000 in 2009, Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Hariher Balasubramanian said on a Webcast earlier today. VW will have about a third of the U.S. diesel market in 2016, up from about 26 percent last year, while BMW's diesel market share will jump to 14 percent from 4 percent.
German automakers are already making progress eliminating some of the negative stereotypes held by American consumers, many of whom associate diesel with the slower, louder, smokier diesels of the 1970s and 80s.
Sales of more powerful, quieter diesels in North America tripled in 2009, and, in December, Audi's clean-diesel A3 TDI hatchback (pictured), which gets an EPA-rated 42 miles per gallon on the highway, was named the 2010 Green Car of the Year by Green Car Journal magazine at the Los Angeles International Auto Show.
VW appears to be leading the way. Diesels accounted for about half of the Jettas and about a third of the Touaregs VW sold in the U.S. last year.
Additionally, automakers view diesel as a way to help meet federal fuel-economy standards, which will require a U.S. fleetwide average of 35.5 miles per gallon in 2016.
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